Whitening and Accessories
Whitening and Accessories CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Professional tooth whitening is accomplished with peroxide-containing bleaching agents, which help to remove intrinsic and extrinsic stains, or with non-bleaching whitening products, which physically or chemically help to remove surface stains only.
Among the many professionally applied bleaching products are those containing 25%-40% hydrogen peroxide. These gels typically contain carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide (the active bleaching agent) and urea. The gels are applied in the dental office and left in place for approximately 1 hour, with a heat or light source often used to activate and/or accelerate the teeth-whitening process. Take-home whitening maintenance products may include flexible custom-made trays to be filled with whitening gel by the patient. Clinicians also may dispense dentifrices containing polishing or chemical agents formulated to remove surface stains through gentle polishing, chemical chelation or other non-bleaching actions.
Prior to application of professional products, gum tissues are protected with a rubber dam or gel and, if needed, the patients’ eyes are protected with laser goggles. Other whitening-related accessories include those intended to facilitate access and application (mouth and lip openers, cheek retractors, plastic applicators), and those intended to help determine patient expectations and monitor progress (shade guides).
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